IRVING, Texas – An obvious dilemma arises when questioning the Cowboys' ability to replicate last week's offensive success in the loss to the Broncos.
On one hand, the Cowboys played their most explosive offense of the season and racked up 48 points – something they would love to emulate going forward. On the other hand, Tony Romo's 506 yards were the most ever by a Dallas quarterback – making the prospect of replicating the success a dicey one.
Romo said the mantra for the offense isn't to try to live up to that standard, but to improve across the board.
"I think you just continue to improve and get better throughout the season," he said. "Last week we did a lot of good things and I think we just need to continue to keep building off that and correct the mistakes we made and come back and be a team that's very tough to beat."
It's not exactly a descriptive answer, but there's some truth to it. The Cowboys might not statistically match their big day against Denver, but they could certainly improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the offense.
As pointed out by Jason Witten, who went for 121 yards and a touchdown last Sunday, the plays the offense ran against the Broncos were not new ones – just well-executed.
"We had a lot of big plays that guys executed. We've called them before, it just was a good outcome this week. You hope that you can continue to do that," Witten said. "You want to be a powerful offense that can run and pass and play action when it wants to. Hopefully we can build on that from last week."
It remains to be seen if those big plays came largely because of the defensive matchup, or something from within the Cowboys' offense. Romo acknowledged it was "a little bit of both," a combination of favorable matchups and the offense's own initiative.
Even if the Cowboys are able to build on it against Washington, offensive coordinator Bill Callahan said it might not come in the same flurry as before. Having charted the game, Callahan said what the Cowboys did against Denver was relatively unprecedented.
"It's kind of unique in the sense that we had 13 explosive plays in the game. I go back and I look at that, and that's huge," Callahan said. "If you can come away with six, eight, you're doing a darn good job, but when you put them up in double digits like that – that's unbelievable. I don't know if that will repeat itself." [embeddedad] [embeddedad]
Callahan said the offense is capable of that type of production on a weekly basis, but the game changes every week depending on the coverage. The Redskins are surrendering roughly 300 yards a game through the air – a stat that would pace them in the bottom five secondaries in the league, if not for their Week 5 bye week.
But Callahan wasn't interested in hearing the stats.
"There's so much difference now in the team we're seeing this week that poses so many issues from a coverage perspective," he said. "You could take those rankings and throw them away as far as I'm concerned, because it's so early in the season still. They have no bearing on their capability."
With that in mind, maybe Romo's response isn't so bland after all – it's not necessarily about matching the numbers, but continual improvement.
"You just want to get better and improve," he said. "You want to be able to play games over and over again where you play at a high level -- that is the goal."